You know what’s hard about liking Dunkin Donuts coffee and being gluten-free? Not being able to order a donut to go along with your cup of joe. And going apple picking without being able to eat a sugarcoated cider donut is pure agony. Don’t even get me started on Krispy Kremes.
Luckily, there are some foods that I simply cannot live without and so I have scoured countless recipes, experimented with some lumpy cooking failures, and finally triumphed in creating perfect gluten-free donut holes (Because miniature things are cute and adorable and better, right?).
So, here’s the recipe for gluten-free donut holes, adapted from one of my favorite recipe sites, Gluten Free on a Shoestring. You might want to check out my guide to gluten-free baking first, or just plunge bravely forward.
Glorious Gluten-free Glazed Donut Holes
Two mixing bowls
A large, tall pot (seriously, the taller the better) or a deep fryer
Cookie sheets and parchment paper
2 1/2 cups (350g) all-purpose gluten-free flour (check out my guide to gluten-free baking for more info!), plus a little extra as needed
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your flour mix already includes this)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast (usually comes in little square packets; active dry yeast will work in a pinch too)
1/2 teaspoon fresh finely-ground nutmeg, or cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, etc etc—mix it up!
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg plus 1 egg white (large or extra-large eggs)
9 ounces milk (low-fat is fine, nonfat is not; nondairy is fine)
4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter
Oil for frying
For the glaze
1 cup (120g) confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons (42g) corn syrup, golden syrup, or honey
2 to 4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
Start by mixing the dry ingredients. Mix the flour, xanthan gum, salt, cream of tartar, baking soda, and sugar. Add in the yeast and spices like nutmeg if you’re using them. We made half of our batch into pumpkin spice donut holes this time!
In a small pot over a medium flame, heat and stir the milk and butter until the butter is fully melted. Remove it from the stove and allow it to cool until it reaches about 110 degrees Fahrenheit (you can also wait 10-15 minutes if you don’t have a thermometer).
Add the milk and butter mixture into the dry ingredients in a slow stream, using a mixer or just stirring. The dough might look like cake batter, very soft and wet. Stirring or mixing slowly, add one or two additional tablespoons of flour if needed. The mixture should still be wet and sticky, but thicker.
Using an ice cream scoop or your hands, form the dough into small spheres and place on the parchment paper on the cookie sheets. Leave room between each. Place the cookie sheets in a warm, non-drafty spot and give them time to rise to 150% of their size. I usually heat my oven to its lowest temperature, turn the oven off, and let them stay in there.
In a large (tall as possible) pot, heat two inches of oil or more to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (my candy thermometer only goes to 300, so that’s always fun). Once the oil reaches that temperature, you can use your ugliest, smallest runt of the donut holes to test the oil. Try to stand far, far away from said scalding oil.
Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower the donut holes one or two at a time into the oil. They’ll bounce to the top and fizz as the fry. Roll them over with the spoon to evenly fry each side. Remove after the hole reaches a nice golden color and place on a wire rack covered with paper towels.
After the donut holes are fried, you can make the glaze by stirring honey or syrup into the confectioners sugar. Add vanilla and a tablespoon or two of water until the glaze reaches a smooth paste that you can dip each of the donut holes into. Add sprinkles if you’re feeling feisty.
Post and Photos by Gabriele Boland. Recipe adapted from Gluten Free on a Shoestring.